Do you feel gloomy and lively in winter? Are you finding it difficult to get out of bed and mainly want potato chips and chocolate in the evening? It could just be a depression.
IThe winter depression was drawn in the 1980s. Psychologist Norman E. Rosenthal from South Africa to New York, where he noticed something wonderful: during the cold, dark winter days, he was often feeling bleak and less energy. Rosenthal suspected it was a lack of light and made a call to the newspaper to find people who felt the same way. This resulted in two thousand responses.
Rosenthal called the phenomenon of seasonal depression, known as winter depression. “With winter depression, you suffer from depression, and you want to eat more, especially carbohydrates, and sleep more,” says researcher Babbitt Pace of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam. So it’s really different from ‘normal depression’, where you sleep more and eat less. ‘
Can I recognize it? This does not necessarily mean that you suffer from winter depression. “Winter depression affects only 2 percent of people in our regions,” says Pais. Often confused with winter diving, it is a milder form that affects around 10 percent. It feels a little less depressed and a little bit of life, but it is much less severe. ”
So why do we get dark in the winter? Pais: It seems that winter depression has something to do with the amount of light you receive. It rarely happens in the tropics, and the further north you go, the greater the chance of developing winter depression. ”
Exactly how a lack of light leads to depression remains a mystery. “Lack of light in winter, for example, can confuse your biological clock.” You are guaranteed to know every day that it is time to go to bed or wake up. But your biological clock takes about 20 very long minutes a day (24 hours 20 minutes). “That clock needs morning light to reset itself and keep up with real time. If it remains dark for a long time in the morning in the winter, your watch could malfunction and that could cause your body to produce more cortisol – the stress hormone.” This may lead to the complaints we see with winter depression.
Another theory is that people make too much of the hormone melatonin. “Melatonin is the hormone that makes you sleepy. And because it stays dark longer in the morning in the winter, your body can release melatonin for longer, making waking up more difficult.
Is there a cure? Bais: “Regularity and rhythm. Get up around the same time. Get out in the morning to get as much light as possible, eat healthy food and go to bed at the same time.”